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Old 03-30-2020, 11:43 PM   #41
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: How to leave the Solar system.

Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
That said, what kinds of groups are making seriously committed efforts toward interstellar colonisation? And also, what kind of activities surrounding these efforts make good plot hooks
I would posit that it's people who take a visionary view that, as vast as the THS solar system is, it's still keeping all our eggs in one basket. Various motivations I can imagine:
Eccentric utopian ideals.
Deadly political disagreement with the people of Earth.
Being an unwanted, despised minority: Heinlein's methuselahs don't fit THS, but would be an example.
Someone who has detected evidence of extraterrestrial intelligent life and doesn't entirely like what they see.
A desire to "garden" the universe, probably involving some combination of nature-loving idealism, narcissism, and tremendous wealth.
A fascination with evolutionary science.

Now as to how: generation ships don't make sense for any of the motivations I can think of. Quality of life is not going to be good, resources will be extravagant, and they won't be able to see the end result.

Sleeper ships make sense.
Seedling ships (a la the Seedling Stars) make sense.
Using uploads and clonal technology makes sense.

If you want to posit a generation ship, you just need to figure out how to get people going on the voyage who would not be motivated by the enticements I described above. Most likely, a quick evacuation by a space-worthy settlement who can't or won't go to Earth. Deadly collisions, disease, killer robots or nanites, and military threats might apply. In such a scenario, a generation ship is a refugee ship, and you can play with those themes.
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